Ready to start chopping…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from Flann O’Brien’s novel The Third Policeman:
His face was gross and far from beautiful but he had modified and assembled his various unpleasant features in some skilful way so that they expressed to me good nature, politeness and infinite patience. In the front of his peaked official cap was an important-looking badge and over it in gold letters was the word SERGEANT. It was Sergeant Pluck himself.

A few days ago I showed you the result of the tentative first steps in the design of a new lino print – you may recall that you could glimpse in the background of the photo a slightly blurred (due to differential focus) view of my silly, but not uninteresting Pink Wall of Tat.
Well, things have progressed, the drawing has been tweaked, added to, and things have been rubbed out, and the reversed image has been marked out ready on the lino.
Oh, would you be interested to know how I manage to get the image reversed and onto the block? If not, you could skip this next paragraph – I shan’t be offended.
When drawing is as good as you think it is going to get, and no amount of squinting at it, sneaking up on it unawares, and looking at it from a distance, or even holding it up to a mirror, can suggest any improvements to it, I slip a piece of carbon paper under it (yes, you can still buy carbon paper! I thought that it might have gone out with typewriters), but with the carboniferous shiny side the wrong way up, so that it is in contact with the back of the drawing. Then I just go round the image with a ballpoint pen – with the aid of a ruler for the straight lines of course. If you now have a look at the back of the drawing you will see a very nice clear reversed image of your design (see below). Then I snip the image out with scissors and tape it to the block with the carbon paper again under it, but this time the ‘right way up’ with the shiny side touching the lino – go round with the pen again, and Bob is your uncle, yes, he is. Notice that I shade in with the pen or pencil the areas that are to be cut out – it is very easy to accidentally start chopping away at the bits you need to keep – Doh!… Oh, bugger!…


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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4 Responses to Ready to start chopping…

  1. Yes, it’s good to act like you’re just off to get a soda from the kitchen, then double-back quietly to stare at the drawing. What a lovely lino! Thanks for your clear how-to.

  2. Oooh! This is looking quite marvellous! I love the way you work so tidily (unless its all artfully arranged, haha!) Also – very surprised that carbon paper is still around. Good to know really, since I assumed they didn’t make it anymore as well. Must try and get some….EDIT:: Found some, got some, yaaay!

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Yes, I suppose I am fairly organised… That one is now cut and printed – I’ll bung it on the blog soon.
      Carbon paper – good stuff – it is so simple and it works so well!

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